Issue 20-56: Index of Remoteness

April 3, 2020

Statistics Canada in collaboration with Indigenous Services Canada has developed a new set of data to add to its set of geospatial and experimental indicators called the index of remoteness. The index of remoteness measures the distance that separates a community from all population centers within a given radius, accounting for the population size of these centers. The indicator should help determine the proximity to service and population centers in communities, this information may help in the delivery and design of policies and programs.

The current version uses 2016 census data and ranges from zero to one. The minimum amount of remoteness, with a value of zero is Toronto. On the other extreme, with a remoteness index of one is Grise Fiord in Nunavut. The values of all other communities are adjusted to this scale, so a value close to zero would have remoteness comparable to Toronto, while a higher value would indicate higher remoteness levels as observed in Grise Fiord.

British Columbia has an average remoteness index of 0.40. This is the third largest remoteness index among provinces. The lowest remoteness index in British Columbia were observed in New Westminster and Burnaby at 0.07, while Vancouver has an index of 0.12. The highest remoteness index were observed in Tzetzi Lake 11 (0.83) and Katit 1 (0.82), both Indigenous reserves.

Canada has a remoteness index of 0.35. Among provinces, the index ranges from 0.26 in Quebec to 0.49 in Newfoundland and Labrador. Nunavut has the highest average remoteness index at 0.78.

Source: Statistics Canada